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World of Speed
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What’s to Love: A car museum out in Wilsonville, Oregon? I have to admit, it took me a long time to visit this unassuming museum located off I-5. I was a bit skeptical of what I might find. My wife and younger son visited years ago. They both loved it, but I never got around to a visit. I’m glad I did! The World of Speed is a beautiful, clean, and exceptional museum featuring incredible cars, motorcycles, interesting exhibits, hands-on simulators, and all located only 20 minutes from Portland. If your kids are interested in cars, you’ll want to put this museum on your to do list.

As of April 6th, 2017, the World of Speed is featuring “American Muscle Cars,” and if you’re a fan, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve seen many of these cars when my kids play the video game “Forza Horizon.” Standing next to these cars, walking around them, seeing them next to each other was awe inspiring. I took plenty of pictures, so you can see what I mean. These cars were in mint condition. I would have loved to hear their engines rev-up, and while the cars do stay silent, you can get a feel for how they sound and drive using the driving simulator.

The driving simulator lets you get behind the wheel of a 1962 Lotus Formula Racing Car, Adrian Fernandez’s 1995 Lola Indy Car, and Johnny Benson’s 1998 NASCAR Ford Taurus. You get to sit in the actual car, operate the gas, shifting, and steering while going around a projected track. Each simulator offers a different experience with road course or oval track options, along with different driving and environment conditions.Unfortunately, there is an extra cost of $10 involved, but I felt it was worth the expense for my son to drive the NASCAR. He loved it, and actually put together a few good lap times that were consistent with the computer driver.

Another interesting exhibit was the Daytona Banking Wall, which features some classic stock cars, helmets, championship rings, and memorabilia. I was never into racing as a kid, but I certainly remember Richard Petty’s classic red, white, and blue car. The “Banking Wall” is really something to see – it shows the various banking-angles in several popular racing tracks. Daytona’s wall seem impossibly steep in the turns! I think it would be terrifying driving a car that fast in such a steep turn.

Caveats: At World of Speed, you can choose your own adventure. If you’re tight on time, you can take a quick 10-15 minute tour. If you’re looking for an all day experience, take the time to learn about the exhibits and try all the hands-on educational activities. Looking for more? Sign your children up for one of the unique all day summer camps!

Website: World of Speed

Distance from Portland: It’s about 20 miles from downtown Portland.

Recommended Ages: Toddlers might get some fun out of seeing the cars and walking around such an open place. To truly enjoy the experience, you might want to wait until your kid/s have an understanding of the cars. I would say the best age range would be kindergarten through high school. Might be a great activity while grandparents are visiting.

Parental Stress Factor: Very low stress outing! Plenty of room for kids to wander.

Physical Difficulty: Everything is fully accessible, and it’s easy to maneuver inside.

Weather Considerations: Great indoor activity!

Insider Info: World of Speed offers summer camps for kids! I’m impressed with number and variety of camps. Here is a link to their camp information.

Family Tips: They have sandwiches and snacks from Elephants Deli! Plenty of on-site parking. They have a World of Speed Coffee Cart! You can check-out the hours here.

Technorati Tags: World of Speed, Portland, museum, cars

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